Posted by on November 9, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

The task of sifting through questions from the Webinar, feedback form, and blog continues. I have noted that a number of questions surround the merging capability. The latest patch that is being worked on addresses some merging performance issues. I’m estimating that patch will be available in another 2 to 3 weeks.

Here are some common merging related questions I’ve encountered:

Does the .jpg of the census get pulled in from the Ancestry web site when we merge a census record?

Yes. By default the image is merged unless you uncheck the “Media” option at the top of the “Merge Summary” page in the “Web Merge Wizard”.

Can I merge sources? How do you merge duplicates?

You cannot merge sources-citations, but if you have two source titles that you want to merge into one, you can replace one with the other in the “Manage Sources” dialog accessed from the “Edit” menu.

The program says that people and media have been merged, but when you return to the people view, you find that the Name is merged, but the source and media have not merged. Why?

When a source is created as part of a merge, the media item (if there is one) is often attached to the source not to the person. After merging you usually will not find the new media item if you look for it in the media for the person. If you go to the source that was created, the media item should be there.

When will the merge function be available in FTM 2008?

The merge function is in FTM 2008. You can access it from the File menu.

How do you delete an image file that you have merged by mistake?

Go to the Media collection by clicking on “Media” at the top of the application. Find and select the media item you want to delete and press the delete key or choose “Delete Media” from the “Media” menu.

Can documents be merged from other than ancestry?

Yes, facts, media, and notes can be merged from any website using the “Screen Clipping” feature located in the toolbar that is in the lower right-hand pane on the “Web Search” screen. With “Screen Clipping” enabled, choose the tab (Facts, Media, or Notes) corresponding to the type of data you want to capture. Then select text (for facts and notes) or click on images (media) to copy them to the lower pane. Once you have gathered what you want, click “Merge” to copy them into your tree.

I got multiple versions of a source/media – same one for each fact merged. How best to clean these up?

Delete the duplicate source/media from the “Source” or “Media” screen and then link (instead of adding a new source/media item) the desired source or media item to the desired facts.

Is it possible to merge the media file from one tree file to another tree file without merging the complete tree file?

A single media file can be linked to many trees. When you add a file to your tree, a dialog message will ask if you want to copy it to the media folder associated with your tree or if you want to leave it and link to it where it is. Choose the “Copy” option if you want each tree to have its own copy of the media item.

I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to post other merging questions as comments to this post. The feedback form is also a great tool for requesting future enhancements to the merging functionality.

27 Comments

Gregory Myers 

Question: how do you change an individual fact to a shared fact w/o deleting one and re-entering all the data?

Question: why doesn’t a “1″ appear in the Media column for that fact when I attach a media item to the source for that fact?

Question: when I add a shared fact and use the drop down to ID the person it applies to and I choose that person, why doesn’t that name remain in the name box? However, the fact when entered ends up under the correct individual.

Problem: When I place my curser over a fact to highlight it and press the mouse button, the curser lands on another item and highlights it instead.

Problem: The program crashes once or twice during EVERY session. I get the message that it has encountered a problem and has to close.

November 9, 2007 at 6:17 pm
Gregory Myers 

Comment: when adding a person’s fact links for a media item and that fact isn’t displayed in the fact display, one has to stop and go to that persons page to add the fact, then go back to the media page and add the link.

Question: why can’t we add a person’s fact and link them at the same time? Multiple facts/links?

November 10, 2007 at 9:54 am
Gregory Myers 

Problem: Is FTM 2008 deleting scanned images on my hard drive after I link to them and close out the program? I have found that the scanned image is in the FTM media collection, with all the detail info I entered, a picture of the document, a correct file name and location, but now with a File Not Found message and the actual file missing in that location. What’s going on?

November 10, 2007 at 9:58 am
Lynn 

Thank you for the update on when the patch should be available.

One thing I am sure Family Tree Maker is aware of is that Source Images merged into ver. 16 (e.g., census images, military registration records, etc.) are not converting to ver. 2008. One thing you may or may not be aware of is that the converted source web links — although a link is appearing many times it links to the the wrong sourcee file (i.e., links to source for different individual). Additionall the source citation text which I added to all sources, even those without imported images, is not always converting properly.

I look forward to these items being fixed in the next patch.

P.S. I have approx. 2,500 individuals in my tree, with every individual having at least one source and many of them having numerous sources that were reimported/merged after version 16 was released — to create the weblink to, import all available images as well as add citation text and other relevant information to all sources — something that took a tremendous amount of time and cost to better enable the long-term usage of my family tree.

November 12, 2007 at 6:38 am
Persephone 

I have also encountered what Lynn commented on :

“One thing I am sure Family Tree Maker is aware of is that Source Images merged into ver. 16 (e.g., census images, military registration records, etc.) are not converting to ver. 2008. One thing you may or may not be aware of is that the converted source web links — although a link is appearing many times it links to the the wrong sourcee file (i.e., links to source for different individual). Additionall the source citation text which I added to all sources, even those without imported images, is not always converting properly.”

I spend considerable time in FTM16 getting all my source images linked, and I am not looking forward to the prospect of doing it all over again.

November 13, 2007 at 8:24 am
Sandy McDevitt 

Every time I try to use the “Chart” feature to the press (book) feature, my program closes. What am I doing wrong?

November 13, 2007 at 5:20 pm
Sandy McDevitt 

Every time I try to use the “Chart” feature or the press (book) feature, my program closes. What am I doing wrong?

November 13, 2007 at 5:21 pm
W Clayton 

I note that Nov 9 you are estimating 2-3 weeks for a Patch for Merging. Will that be like the estimate for fixing being able to do Genealogy Reports that is STILL not out? That has become a total farce!
You need a box under preferences to check when doing a Merge to link to the person selected ONLY and not keep asking you about every single person that could be related. Even if it might be affecting some other person, generally you want to Merge the record with ONE key person only.

November 14, 2007 at 7:37 pm
W Clayton 

You need a Bloog separate topic that is titled “Bug Fixes”. I wanted this as a separate comment for focus. It is one thing to be requesting improvements. It is a completely seperate idea to be pointing out the many, many, many, etc just flat out errors and mistakes where 2008 does not work correctly at all! And even better if catagorized so you can see if someone else has pointed out the mistake. And you need people assigned to fix these errors NOW, not months from now like has happened with Genealogy Reports.

November 14, 2007 at 7:40 pm
Julie Matus 

We have Family Tree Maker 9.0 version. Can we get the new version and will it incorporate all of our info without my having to re-type it all in again? 9.0 has been fine for me; just wondering if an upgrade to the new FTM might be possible. We have over 4000 names in our current program. Thanks. Julie & Wes

November 27, 2007 at 9:51 am
Cheryl Enyart 

Oh my, after looking at all these problems I am having second thoughts on spending my money on FTM if it isn’t up to par and too hard to use.

I have a 2005 and like it just great but was in hopes this would be great for publishing.

NOW I am having second thoughts with all the problems I am reading.

December 7, 2007 at 2:14 pm
Tom Clarkson 

I am having a problem synchronizing my FTM 16 with my Ancestry Family Tree. When I am using the laptop in the field I can put info in and when I go to send it to ancestry website as a gedcom some info is missing or in the wrong field. The same thing happens when I edit the tree on ancestry and try to get it to the laptop.
Does anyone have an easy solution without handwriting the information and checking it against the other program?

December 26, 2007 at 9:03 am
John Cooke 

Is there a ‘fix’ in sight to correct the problem with this function?
I have used the Canadian Version of FTM 2008, and currently the DeLuxe version ( that was forwarded by Tech Support – no charge, thank you!). The function appears to do the merge but, when finished, both releases (with and without the SPack patch) cause FTM 2008 to crash (and not to exit from the merge successfully). When I restart FTM 2008, the program asks and checks the data file, because it did not shut down properly. There are never any errors and, when I look at my tree, the correct merge has taken place! Since FTM 2008 takes FOREVER to initialize, I would love to be able to do successive merges without the annoying shutdowns. Any hints, as I have many more to attempt?? The same problems are identical on both my desktop and laptop.
John Cooke

January 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm
Sandymento 

Using The Master Genealogist file (PJC) I loaded it into FTM 2008 and it transfered everything GREAT…except locations…NONE appeared! Help?? Tech services told me no one heard of that and I should bring in a GEDCOM and merge it…but I’m struggling with that too…I’ve got over 9,000 names so there is no way this info can be entered again…I NEED A GOOD SOLUTION!

February 17, 2008 at 4:26 pm
Jim Anslinger 

FTM2008 for me has been a disaster. The program somehow dropped thousands of Facts, keeping only the name of the fact but not the contents. It mis-imported thousands of placenames, placing them in the description box instead of place box. It does not have the ability to merge more than 2 persons at a time, as older versions did. If a file has many person-duplications, the user must do all merging 2 at a time.
If FTM2008 is not replaced soon with a version that works as well as prior ones, I for one will be switching programs.

February 25, 2008 at 1:25 pm
Rick Bale 

I have two large, nearly identical trees on Ancestry.com and one in FamilyTreeMaker. Can I merge them all into one tree and then I keep that tree in FamilyTreeMaker, or syncronize them so they all mirror each other with the picture attachments?

February 28, 2008 at 8:30 pm
Randy Pereira 

While merging found items into my tree, I noticed that there are duplicate entries (children) under an individuals name. Also, there are a few duplicate individuals. One set has mother and father listed and another has several generations. Did I merge incorrectly? Should I verify and delete duplicates?

March 2, 2008 at 7:09 pm
Beverley McInnes 

I am using FTM v10. I tried to merge two files and now in my list of individuals I have the same people listed 4 and 5 times. I can’t figure it out.
Can you help? I can’t find anywhere else to ask for assistance and couldn’t find an email address on this website to use.
Thanks

March 11, 2008 at 1:24 pm
Freddy Mendez 

Comment: I noticed a similar problem to the one reported by Berberly McInnes but using FTM 16. I exported about 70 people from one family tree (created also with FTM 16) and when I open it, it shows the same person many times in a sort of recurrent merge, for instance a person being the grandson of himself. I tried to do the same in FTM 2008 and the program says that the file has been damaged. I couldn’t find anything wrong in my files before trying to export. Any help?

March 25, 2008 at 6:43 pm
Nancy Bond 

I am having the same problem as stated in John Cooke’s blog of 1/29//2008 – WEB MERGE FREEZE, with the website not responding, and then having to ALT/CONTROL/DELETE to get out of FTM 2008. All patches are installed. It is especially crashing on the weekends. Is this being addressed, is it a server problem with too many users? Please help, I otherwise love this product, but the Web Merge problem is very frustrating.

April 5, 2008 at 10:39 am
Sherry Hightower 

In using Ancestry.com Tree program, I cannot see how to merge families. I have 2 families where the children married into both families, marrying first cousins, etc. Not sure of the link to my tree but the name is “Roots of My Family” and I am specifically discussing the CROSS and DOVER families.

Thank you.

May 2, 2008 at 4:55 pm
Heather 

Today I have a “Unable to Clip Images” after merging, then the whole programme crashes. This is for FTM 2009 using XP. Is there anyone who can help me please?
Thank you once again.
Heather

October 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm
lois 

How can I merge duplicate people in ancestry?

November 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm
lois 

I have two large, nearly identical trees on Ancestry.com and one in FamilyTreeMaker. Can I merge them all into one tree and then I keep that tree in FamilyTreeMaker, or syncronize them so they all mirror each other with the picture attachments?

November 5, 2008 at 8:34 pm
terri l mcmurphy 

i tried to branch off certain members of the family but all i end up w/is another tree! what can i do to consolidate this amature mess? i don;t know what to do. any help would be welcome. thank you

February 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm
Eryn 

I am having the same problem as Heather (#22). Everytime I try to merge my person on the FTM 2009 (in Vista), it crashes with the error “Unable to clip images”.

It has been doing this for more than a week, and I am getting more than annoyed with it!

February 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm
Marce 

I’m having the same problem as Heather #22 and Eryn #26. I’d like to know where to go to resolve this issue.

February 18, 2009 at 7:58 am